Many lesser kestrels discovered wintering in Senegal

African swallow-tailed kite

From BirdLife:

Surveys in Senegal by LPO (BirdLife in France) have revealed a single roost containing over 28,600 Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni and 16,000 African Swallow-tailed Kite Chelictinia riocourii – one of the largest bird of prey roosts ever found.

“One evening, I saw the passage of some 300 birds flying over,” said Philippe Pilard of LPO, who discovered the site in January 2007. “The next evening I saw 1,300 falcons fly over. I therefore decided to follow them, which was only possible on foot.”

“I first walked 10 kilometres -even crossing rivers by canoe- and finally found the Lesser Kestrel roost, along with the African Swallow-tailed Kites.”

The existence of communal roosts during the non-breeding season -sometimes involving several thousand individuals- has been observed in a number of different countries including Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. However conservationists have described this enormous roost -altogether some 45,000 insectivorous raptors- as exceptional.

The numbers of roosting Lesser Kestrel at this site are thought to represent more than half of the known breeding populations of western Europe and northern Africa combined. The roost likely held individuals from Morocco, Spain, Portugal and France.

Wintering birds in Senegal: here.

June 2010. Sharp eyes and attention to detail have again paid off with the discovery of a Greater Kestrel (Falco rupicoloides) in Termit (Niger), the very first record for all of West Africa. The bird was spotted and photographed by project leader, Thomas Rabeil, and his team on February 16, 2010, during regular wildlife monitoring work. Unlike anything they had seen before, photos of the bird were sent to several world renowned bird experts, including Ron Demey and Nik Borrow, authors of the definitive Field Guide to the Birds of West Africa, Tim Wacher (Birds of the Gambia and Senegal), and Joost Brouwer and Ulf Liedén of the online Niger Bird Database. Greater Kestrel was their unanimous response: here.

American kestrels in Yukon: here.

12 thoughts on “Many lesser kestrels discovered wintering in Senegal

  1. Gambia: Wabsa Launches Newsletter
    The Daily Observer (Banjul)

    29 August 2007
    Posted to the web 30 August 2007

    Abdoulie John

    The West African Bird Study Association (WABSA) has recently launched its newsletter. This initiative emanated from the ambition to participate actively in the sensitisation of the general public on issues pertaining to environment. In their maiden edition, an emphasis has been put on desertification, one of the growing threats to the African continent and the planet.

    In the editorial, Lamin Jobaate, WABSA Executive Director, pointed out that ‘there is a general understanding that desertification problems are most severe in the semi-arid, Sudano Sahelian zone of the country which constitutes 75% of the total land area, especially in the north of the River Gambia.’

    Pursuing in this alarming tone, he argued that the southern part of the country is being menaced by the advance of the desert, as so many factors continue to contribute to the deterioration of the existing ecosystem. “The growing demographic pressures, coupled with 30% drop in rainfall over the last 20 years, contributed to the extensive destruction of the forest cover”, he noted. According to him, such a situation caused drastically the decline of the rate of production in the cash crops, horticultural crops and wildlife species.

    He further commended the reaction from the general public, government departments and Non-Governmental Organisations and indicated that it has over the last years, witnessed some positive developments and challenges. As such, they must be extolled ‘for the giant strides they have taken to minimise the negative environmental impacts.’ He then added: “The Department of Forestry, the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, the National Environment Agency and the Gambia Tourism Authority have been in the forefront of the desertification control in The Gambia.”

    Taking into consideration the international environment conventions that The Gambia has ratified, he outlined government’s commitment to take the lead in the domain of conservation. Among the conventions that necessitate the political support of the government, he enumerated the United Nations Conservation on Desertification (UNCD), the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), the Climate Change Convention and the Bonn Convention. In other words, The Gambia is in the right track in tackling the rising challenges and adversity faced by the environment sector.

    He concluded by drawing people’s attention to the fact that the achievement of these goals depends on the full participation and support of all Gambians. “It is our duty therefore, particularly the youth, to ensure the protection and conservation of our remaining flora and fauna”, he hinted.

    Copyright © 2007 The Daily Observer.


  2. Pingback: Green turtle nests discovered in Senegal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Lebanese bird lovers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Good bird news from the Mediterranean | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Lesser kestrels, swallows, bullfighting in Trujillo, Spain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Lesser kestrels, nesting storks, old buildings in Trujillo, Spain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: LIttle owl, egrets, red-legged partridge in Spain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Eurasian nuthatch video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Bird-killing powerlines in Sudan | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Palestine lesser kestrel conservation | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Senegalese children learn about birds | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Bird protection in Portugal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.